by WorldTribune Staff, April 18, 2018
CIA Director Mike Pompeo met with Kim Jong-Un during a secret visit to North Korea over Easter weekend, a report said.
Pompeo, President Donald Trump’s nominee to replace Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, made the trip to discuss the planned Trump-Kim summit, The Washington Post reported on April 17, citing sources with knowledge of the trip.
About a week after Pompeo’s trip to North Korea, Pyongyang had directly confirmed that Kim was willing to negotiate about potential denuclearization, according to Trump administration officials.
Related: U.S. strike on Syria a useful mental image to focus the mind of Kim Jong-Un, April 17, 2018
Pompeo’s meeting with Kim would be the highest-level meeting between Washington and Pyongyang since 2000 when then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright met with Kim Jong-Il.
During his April 17 summit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Trump alluded to a direct communication line he has with Pyongyang.
Trump said the U.S. is having direct talks at “extremely” high levels with North Korea.
Trump also referred to the two Koreas’ potential summit agenda to end the decades-old armistice, saying that “They do have my blessing to discuss the end to the war.”
The president added that five locations are under review as the venue for his summit with Kim, which may be held in May or early June.
“There’s a great chance to solve a world problem,” Trump said. “This is not a problem for the United States. This is not a problem for Japan or any other country. This is a problem for the world.”
Ahead of the Trump-Kim summit, President Moon Jae-In will hold a summit with Kim on April 27 at the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom.
In his Senate confirmation hearing last week, Pompeo voiced optimism that Trump can achieve the denuclearization of North Korea through diplomacy in the upcoming summit.
“No one is under any illusions that we will reach a comprehensive agreement through the president’s meeting,” Pompeo said. “But to set up the conditions acceptable to each side, for the two leaders who will ultimately make the decision about whether such an agreement can be achieved then set in place, I’m optimistic that the United States government can set the conditions for that appropriately.”